I have recently acquired a house with a septic tank. The books I have
read say not to plant shrubs or trees near the tank or drainage field
because the roots will damage it. Unfortunately, it's exactly in an
area I want to cross with a border.
Are there any trees/brush suitable for a hedge that have a superficial
spreading root system shallow enough to be safe for a septic tank?
Ask your local council's sanitation officer (or whoever is responsible for
septic tanks) they will have a list of plants suitable for the drain field,
some insist on the field being planted to assist with take-up of nutrients
in order to reduce algal blooms etc in waterways due to runoff.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Bill Oliver) wrote in message
Probably not a good idea. If you don't want grass over your tank and
drainfield, you can certainly make a border with herbaceous perennials
and annuals, but shrubs are risky. We have spent over $1000 during
the past couple of years to clear tree roots from our drainfield. The
roots infiltrate the pipes and then completely block them. Our lot is
25 years old and wooded, so there's not a lot we can do to prevent
tree roots short of clearcutting. But if you don't have the problem,
why create a situation where you might in a few years. You really
don't want the contents of your septic tank backing up into your house
Depending on how deep your drain lines are, you might get away with
fibrous, shallow rooted shrubs like Rhododendrons, but be aware that
septic effluent can make the soil alkaline.
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